JOHN NORUM – Face The Truth {reissue} (2017)

JOHN NORUM - Face The Truth {reissue} (2017) full

Capitalizing the release of Europe’s new album, Dutch label Music On CD in association with Sony Music has reissued the first two JOHN NORUM solo albums, long time of of print, a least in the US. While not remastered, the sound quality has been clearly beef-up thanks to modern mastering transfer technology. “Face The Truth” is Norum’s second solo album, featuring the great Glenn Hughes on lead vocals and former Europe band mate Joey Tempest.

Comparing this album to Norum’s debut Total Control, this second album sounds much more Americanized, still intense, refreshing and with a classic hard rock feel.
The line up is completely different: The Voice of Rock Glenn Hughes is on lead vocals, and Peter Baltes (Accept and Don Dokken) hits the bass.

Opener title track “Face The Truth” is one of my favorites from the entire album. The main riff stay in your head at first listen and Glenn’s phrasing in the chorus is incredible.
“Night Buzz” is a catchy song very much in the L.A hard rock wave of the late ’80s. It just reminds me a lot of George Lynch and the song could perfectly well have been included in ‘Up From The Ashes’ by Don Dokken.
“In Your Eyes” is a wonderful ballad awesomely performed by Hughes. If the musical climate had not changed when released, shoulda been a hit.

“We Will Be Strong”, only appeared in the European version of the album, features Joey Tempest delivering a terrific duo with Hughes. No doubt with more promotion this song could have become a worldwide hit as well, on par with the likes the likes of Europe’s ‘Rock The Night’ or ‘Superstitious’.
“Opium Trail” is a solid cover of a Thin Lizzy song, on “Good Man Shining” Hughes shines again in a tune full of groove, while “Time Will Find The Answer” is melodic, with swirling guitar stabs and harmony vocals.

“Counting on Your Love” is a showcase for Norum’s guitar skills, perfectly complemented by the vocals. Very Dokken-ish… and killer.
And if you need an AOR touch, “Still The Night” is fantastic. The chorus has some Peterik / Survivor on it, but overall the sound bring to mind the superb Hughes / Thrall album.

JOHN NORUM - Face The Truth {reissue} (2017) back

For the end, “Distant Voices” is another of my favorites. The more guitar driven track on the album where you can hear pumping Peter Baltes bass lines and Hughes doing his best on a song which wouldn’t be out of place on Whitesnake’s legendary 1987 album, with a very Sykes-like riffs and guitar solo.

When you think about it, “Face The Truth” is kind of a foretelling of what Europe is doing now, musically speaking, yet pretty much catchy. It’s a killer hard rock album, and one of the best Glenn Hughes recordings in my opinion.
As said above, this reissue sounds million bucks.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 – Face the Truth
02 – Night Buzz
03 – In Your Eyes
04 – Opium Trail
05 – We Will Be Strong
06 – Good Man Shining
07 – Time Will Find the Answer
08 – Counting on Your Love
09 – Endica
10 – Still the Night
11 – Distant Voices

John Norum – Guitars, lead and backing vocals
Glenn Hughes – Lead vocals
Peter Baltes (Accept, Don Dokken) – Bass
Hempo Hilden – Drums
Joey Tempest – Vocals on “We Will Be Strong”
Billy White – Rhythm guitar on “Time Will Find the Answer”
Mikkey Dee – Drums on “Distant Voices”
John Schreiner – Keyboards
Andy Lorber – Additional backing vocals


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